Legumes are desirable species in any pasture mix, not only for their stock feed value but also because of their nitrogen fixing ability. But did you know there is a diverse range of native legume species?
Native legumes have the benefit of being adapted to local environmental conditions and it is thought they may be more drought tolerant than their current exotic pasture legume counterparts. But relatively little is known about these plants.
Local Land Services Senior Pastures Officer, Clare Edwards, is conducting a project to learn more about native legumes and where they are found in the Central Tablelands.
“Many of our native and naturalised paddocks on the Central Tablelands have native legumes as part of their composition. They play a vital role in biodiversity, as well as a legume component in our pastures for livestock.” said Ms. Edwards.
“Unfortunately, we know very little about some of the native legumes such as Glycine and Desmodiums or their associated rhizobia and their potential to fix nitrogen. This study will investigate the nodulation of these native legumes and record where they are found in the landscape. Sometimes, we overlook these species even though they can play an important part in our pasture systems.” she continued.
The Central Tablelands Local Land Services is looking for landholders who have native legumes in their pastures to be part of the first survey to be undertaken into such species.
As part of the study, the Local Land Services will be taking plant and root samples from the paddocks, a soil test to correlate soil nutrients and an estimation of the composition of the other plants found alongside the native legumes.
“The Desmodiums, often known as native tick-trefoils, and the Glycines are woody year-long green perennials. They are commonly found in our grasslands all year around, however they are more noticeable at the moment due to their flowering at this time of year.” said Ms. Edwards.
“We are seeking producers who think that they may have these species in their paddocks to call in and register their interest in being part of the study.” she continued.
For further information and to register your interest as part of the survey please contact Clare Edwards on 0428 435 615 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.